Archive | Miscellaneous

Good Problems Take Time

It’s funny, writing these posts. They keep coinciding with my deadlines. I’ve just turned in my first round of edits to my editor. Which, let me tell you, always feels like such a win. There’s something about that first draft—about looking at a manuscript so filled with problems that you stare at and try desperately to find solutions— that can be so heartbreaking and demoralizing at the same time. I wrote this? That slithering voice […]

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Pitching Historical Romance Series (and Small Presses)

There is one genre convention in romance that may never be broken: the happily ever after. Hearts must flutter at the close or heads will roll (or both, in the case of my Tudor books). But how do you pull off a romance serial—following the same two lovers—in which each novel features a happily ever after, yet keeps the story going, and is set in a different time period? I faced this conundrum while writing […]

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John Truby’s Theory of Opponents

If conflict is what drives our stories, it would seem to follow that antagonists are a writer’s best tools to create that conflict and propel the story along. And yet tons of people, myself included, really struggle with writing antagonists that feel believable and interesting, who aren’t just mustache-twirling villains who are evil for the sake of being evil. Julie D. mentioned John Truby’s ANATOMY OF STORY in her post the other day, and by chance, […]

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Writing from a young perspective

One of the most common and simple reasons that I end up passing on submissions is that while the writer may pitch their project as YA or MG, the voice and/or perspective in the sample pages feels very grown-up. There’s a time and a place for books that are primarily intended to teach or send a message, where it’s okay to speak to young readers from an adult perspective. But instead, today, I want to […]

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PubCrawl Podcast: We’re Back!

The PubCrawl podcast is officially back! JJ and Kelly reunite with a sprawling discussion about organization and goal setting as it applies to writing and publishing. JJ has kicked her reading rut at last, and Kelly is deeply in love with spreadsheets, per usual. We missed you! Show Notes Goal Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-Bound Aspirations are things that you’re working toward, and hoping for, and might have limited control […]

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